Scrap metal licensing

The Scrap Metal Act 2013 places a requirement on scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators to obtain either a licence for operating from a site, or a licence for operating as a mobile collector.

Site licence

All the sites where a licensee carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer have to be identified, and a site manager names for each site. This licence allows the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from these sites, from any local authority area.

Collector’s licence

This allows the licensee to operate as a collector in the area of the issuing licensing authority. It does not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area, so a separate licence has to be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in. The licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site; to do so you will need a site licence from the relevant authority.


  • Site licence - £304.00
  • Additional sites added to a site licence - £78 per additional site
  • Collector’s licence - £130.00

Both licences will be valid for a three year period.

A register of all licences issued by councils, including Amber Valley is available on a public register maintained by the Environment Agency.

If you are transporting scrap metal as a scrap metal dealer you also require the relevant environment permit, exemption or registration issued by the Environment Agency in order to operate. This can be viewed at

The Scrap Metal Act 2013 can be viewed at

Tax conditionality rules

From 4 April 2022, there will be a small addition to the checks licensing bodies already have in place. You’ll need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you renew your licence to:

Deal in scrap metal as either

  • the holder of a collectors licence or
  • a site licence

How changes may affect you

What you need to do will depend on whether you’re applying for a licence for the first time or whether you’re making a subsequent application, such as renewing a licence.

Getting a new licence

If you are applying for a licence for the first time, you will not need to complete the tax check. However, we will ask you to read HMRC guidance on what you need to do to be properly registered for tax in the future and you’ll need to sign a declaration to confirm you have done this.

Renewing a licence

From 4 April 2022, if you renew or apply for a subsequent licence under a different licensing authority area, you’ll have to do a tax check. You’ll be able to do this online through a digital service.

You’ll need to complete a tax check if you’re:

  • Renewing a licence
  • Applying for the same type of licence you previously held, that ceased being valid less than a year ago
  • Applying for the same type of licence you already hold with another licensing authority

You must carry out the tax check yourself. You cannot ask a tax agent or adviser to do this on your behalf.

The tax check will ask questions about how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licensed trade. After you have completed the tax check you will be given a 9-character tax check code.

You will need to give the code on your application to the licensing authority, so we can confirm you have carried out a tax check.

You will not be granted a licence if you do not give a tax check code to the licensing authority.

Application and guidance

Frequently asked questions

A person carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer if they:

a) Carry on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought or,

b) Carry on a business as a motor salvage operator

For the purposes of (a), a person who manufactures articles is not regarded as selling scrap metal if that person sells scrap metal only as a by-product of manufacturing articles or as surplus materials not required for manufacturing them.

For the purposes of (b), a person carries on business as a motor salvage operator if the person caries on a business which consists:
a) Wholly or partly in recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-sue or sale and subsequently selling or otherwise disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap, b) Wholly or mainly in buying written off vehicles and subsequently repairing and reselling them, c) Wholly or mainly in buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject (whether immediately or on a subsequent re-sale) of any of the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) or, d) Wholly or mainly in activities falling within paragraphs (b) and (c).

Scrap metal includes:

a) Any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and b) Any product, article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken, worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life.

The following are not to be regarded as scrap metal:

a) Gold b) Silver, and c) Any alloy of which 2% or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.

The act states that the council cannot issue a licence unless it is satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on the business of a scrap metal dealer.

In the case of a partnership this means assessing the suitability of each of the partners in the partnership, while in the case of a company it means assessing the suitability of any directors, company secretaries or shadow directors.

Therefore as part of the application process you are required to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate (available via Disclosure Scotland, who may be contacted by telephone on 0870 609 6006 or via email at A disclosure must be provided for each partner/director/secretary. 

Any certificate produced must be no more than three months old at the time of submitting your application.

The council will notify the applicant if they propose to refuse the application. You will be given 21 days in which to make representations against this; should you wish to make oral representations then the council’s licensing committee will meet and determine the application. Should the committee refuse your licence then you may appeal to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days.

Under the act you are obliged to notify the Council of any changes which would affect the accuracy of your licence within 28 days of the changes occurring. A variation to your licence can be made for the following:

  • Change of licensee’s details (name or address)
  • Change from a site licence to a collector’s licence or vice versa
  • Changes to the sites licensed (adding, removing or changing details)
  • Change of site manager(s)

A site licence must be displayed at each site identified on the licence in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.

A collector’s licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the business in a manner which enables it to be easily read by a person outside the vehicle.

No. It is an offence under the act to pay cash for scrap metal.

Currently payment can only be paid by the following methods:

  • By a cheque which under Section 81A of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is not transferable
  • or By an electronic transfer of funds (authorised by credit or debit card or otherwise)

The act states that a scrap metal dealer must record the following information:

  • The description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form, condition, weight and any marks identifying previous owners or other distinguishing features
  • The date and time of its receipt If the metal is delivered in or on a vehicle, the registration mark of the vehicle If the metal is received from a person, the full name and address of that person
  • If the dealer [pays for the metal, the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer If the dealer receives the metal from a person, the dealer must keep a copy of any document which the dealer uses to verify the name or address of that person
  • If the dealer pays for the metal by cheque, the dealer must keep a copy of the cheque
  • If the dealer pays for the metal by electronic transfer: The dealer must keep the receipt identifying the transfer, or If no receipt identifying the transfer was obtained, the dealer must record particulars identifying the transfer

If a dealer disposes of scrap metal under a site licence they must record the following information:

  • The description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form and weight
  • The date and time of its disposal If the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person If the dealer receives payment for the metal (whether by way of sale or exchange), the price or other consideration received

If a dealer must keep the information and other records mentioned above for a period of 3 years beginning with the day on which the metal is received or (as the case may be) disposed of.

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

1. In order to verify a person’s name and address, it will be sufficient for a scrap metal dealt to refer to either:

a) A document listed in paragraph (2) which bears the person’s full name, photograph and residential address; or b) Both of – (i) A document listed in paragraph (2) which bears the person’s full name, photograph and date of birth, and (ii) A supporting document listed in paragraph (3_ which bears the person’s full name and residential address.
2. The documents which apply for the purposes of regulation 2(1)(a) or (b)(i) are as follows:

a) A valid United Kingdom passport, within the meaning of section 33(1) of the Immigration Act 1971; or b) A valid passport issued by an EEA state; or c) A valid Great Britain or Northern Ireland photo-card driving licence; or d) A valid UK biometric immigration document, issued in accordance with regulations made under section 5 of the UK Borders Act 2007.

3. The documents which apply for the purposes of regulation 2(1)(b)(ii) are:

a) Bank or building society statement; b) A credit or debit card statement; c) A council tax demand letter or statement; or d) A utility bill, but not a mobile telephone bill

Provided that the date on which the document in question was issued is not more than three months before the date when the scrap metal is received by the scrap metal dealer.

  • Site licence — £304.00
  • Collector’s licence — £130.00
  • Additional site added to an existing licence  — £78.00
  • Change of site manager — £10.50 (without suitability test) or £75.00 (with suitability test)
  • Change of name/address — £10.50
  • Replacement licence — £10.50
Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 570222 or email